A self-confessed ‘humanities geek in the body of a musician,’ Alexander Douglas (MA MMus MA FRSA) writes both words and music in a range of contexts and settings and is available for commissions, consultancy, education projects, teaching engagements and live performances. Alexander has spent twenty years ‘triangulating’ in music (across classical music, jazz and gospel music as composer/MD, instrumentalist and composer/arranger) and now triangulates across music, the humanities and mental health. He is a researcher at the University of Wolverhampton and a full Associate of NHS Research & Development Northwest with whom he works on projects ranging from creativity and communication.
Alexander is the Artistic Director of ADM Productions and is also in the process of developing a new enterprise – Arts for Hope – which will specifically focus on projects/collaborations that promote (mental, but not only mental) health and wellbeing through the arts. A prolific blogger, he has been read by thousands of readers in nearly 120 countries worldwide. In addition to the blog on this site, he blogs specifically on aspects of music and theology and on mental health as well as other issues.
Born in Tanzania to parents who hail from Guyana (the only English-speaking country in South America), Alexander completed his secondary education in Manchester (his UK ‘hometown’) before moving to London to begin what has become a lifelong study project (also taking in Cardiff, Lampeter, Preston etc) encompassing a) both musicology and ethnomusicology; b) classical music forms from Western and Eastern Europe, several parts of Asia and the Middle East; c) folk/vernacular traditions from all around the world; d) Western vernacular traditions including jazz; e) anthropology; f) African language literatures; g) post-colonial theory; h) philosophy; i) cultural theory; j) theology and more – along with music performance traditions from classical choral conducting to klezmer music as a clarinettist…and he hasn’t finished yet! His most recent interest is in the area of mental health – and particularly its relationship to language, culture, cognition, religious identity and praxis, artistic practice and identity – and wider community.
His personal and professional aspirations are two-fold:
- developing his output as both a writer of text in more than one context (academic publications, magazine articles, reviews (as well as his own blogs) and as a composer and arranger of music;
- finding new ways to bring rigorous thinking and praxis in the arts to the conversation/s across religion, philosophy, science and (mental) health.